So this happened:
The organization is proposing a resolution stating that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” The change still must be approved by the group’s roughly 1,400 national council members at a meeting the week of May 20.
This is a pretty important first step. It’s not a big first step, but it shows that the BSA is at least willing to consider a policy change. At the very least, this will make it much harder for the BSA to ban gay scouts, as now they’ll have to find some sort of other reason to kick them out. I fully expect the BSA to move further on this issue in the next few years. It may take a while, but eventually we’ll have equality.
Here’s what I’d like to see next:
- Similar protections for LGBT adults
- Mandatory diversity training, with a focus on being respectful and inclusive toward LGBT people
- Anti-harassment policies in place to prevent bullying of LGBT members
- Serious consequences (like charter revoking) for scout troops that don’t follow the rules
I think those rules would go a long way toward making LGBT people feel safe and accepted in the BSA. If you’re interested in supporting efforts to make these sorts of changes, you can donate to the Inclusive Scouting Network, an organization that works to further equality in the BSA.